The importance of hip-hop

images-2“Hip-hop has done so much for racial relations, and I don’t think it’s given the proper credit. It has changed America immensely. I’m going to make a very bold statement: Hip-hop has done more than any leader, politician, or anyone to improve race relations.”   Jay Z

I read this quote on Jason Hirschorns Media Redef daily emails that I get.  I love this quote because I too believe that Hip-hop has been a public mentor to kids across America.  The top musicians in the Hip-hop music scene are smart business people.  They have taken their god gifted talents and leveraged them by providing all of us with music to listen to but most of them have done so much more.

Jay Z is the ultimate example.  He started hocking CD’s of his music out of the back of his car as a teen.  He went on to build a record label with friends and then moved on a one point to do it again by himself.  He eventually invested in a sports team, became an agent for athletes, opened up night clubs and much much more.  He is growing an empire.

Two of my favorite quotes of Jay Z are “You learn more in failure than you do in success.”  Spot on.  I see it every day with entrepreneurs.  Yet my all time favorite is  “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”  He rose from the projects of Brooklyn and is now a global business leader  For kids coming from the same walk of life as him they can look up to Jay Z because you can’t be what you can’t see and what they see is a powerful business man who grew his empire starting with his own talents and love of music. That is empowering.  The long tail of this is huge.  His impact and reach is larger than we will ever know.